The house was silent as Alieahsha entered, leaving her over-panicked brain go into alert mode. Alieahsha was scared. Very scared. She could not, must not, let her father see her all puffed and with her dress dirty.
Alieahsha walked into her room, then fell on her bed. What mess had she gotten herself into? Why on Earth had she agreed to meeting someone she didn't even know? All for information about her mother.
That thought silenced her. Her mother. Alieahsha knew that it was a valid reason to go meeting up with a stranger. She just had to know about her mother. Her father had hardly ever talked about her, and besides, she was her mother, surely she deserved to know more?
Alieahsha knew she had to bide her time, and be patient, otherwise her father would surely see her impatience.
She dragged a leather suitcase into the middle of her room. If she put everything there, her father wouldn't notice. Alieahsha started making ready her dress and her accessories – it would be a cold night.
In went gloves, a scarf which trailed along the ground if Alieahsha didn't wrap it around her neck at least eight times, and a hat which was tight enough to be warm.
When everything was ready, Alieahsha put the suitcase in an unnoticed corner, to reduce the chances that her father would even look in it.
Soon, the preparations were ready. The only thing not ready was her. Then Alieahsha remembered.
“Oh! The papers!”
She was mostly speaking to herself, but, as always, there was always the danger of someone listening in on you in that big house.
The door was pushed open. A tall figure came in. A woman, with brown hair tied into a tight bun at the back of her head. It looked like the roots of her hair were straining to get out of her head. She was wearing a simple dress, which was slightly higher than the floor level. Not as high that people would usually notice it, but high enough to not interfere with movement.
Alieahsha noted the design and nodded approvingly: she would have to try it sometime.
“And you are?”
Alieahsha snapped awake again. “I'm sorry?”
The woman's voice was thin and pencil-sharp. “Who are you? What are you doing in my room?”
Alieahsha was rather taken aback. “Your room?”
The woman nodded slowly, as if Alieahsha were dumb. “This is my room. It has been mine since the day I was born. Do you see that piece of torn wallpaper over there?” the woman gestured toward the corner of Alieahsha's room, just above the suitcase.
“That happened on the day that I had that terrible rage of mine. Many people still speak of it around campfires.”
Alieahsha nodded, intrigued. Who was this odd lady to came into her room and then claimed that it was hers?
“Well, the thing was, I hadn't been allowed to see my mother on the day that the Mayor brought her to court about not caring for her children. I was an orphan, you see.”
Alieahsha felt sad for her. She knew the loss of losing one's mother, when she was so close, too.
The lady sighed. “I was in such a rage that I kicked the wall and the wallpaper came off. I broke several chandeliers and a quite a few vases.”
Ah, so she's an angry one, is she? Alieahsha thought.
The woman shook her head. “Anyhow, I must get going. I better tell the Mayor that there is someone inhabiting my room. I had thought to stay for the moment, but, it was not to be.”
“What's your name? I'm sure to tell my father about it.”
“My name is Eletii, after my mother's middle name, Eletiiose. And telling your father wouldn't be much help. I know at your age fathers seem to be able to do anything, but as you grow older, you'll realise the truth.”
“But you don't understand,” Alieahsha said in a whisper, “my father is the Lord Mayor of Uirda, and I'm his heir.”